The rent vs. flip dilemma

Depreciation, inflation among important considerations

DEAR BERNICE: We recently bought a property in the area of Yakima, Wash., with a lot of equity in it. After the renovation, we still have an equity position of approximately $35,000. Initially, the plan was to renovate and flip the property, but we’re now having second thoughts about selling and are thinking about renting the property out instead. We are retired and any additional monthly income would be very good, but it would also tie up the cash that we paid to buy the property. With certificate of deposit rates down and the fear of the dollar falling due to inflation, is it wise to just rent out the property? Property values seem to be appreciating. –Joyce T.

DEAR JOYCE: While no one has a crystal ball, there are several indicators to watch that can help you predict what will happen in your market and whether you should keep this house.

1. Median prices
Median prices are no longer a good indicator of what is happening in the market. As more jumbo loans become available, more higher-priced properties will sell.